Raja Ampat: Yenbekaki Villagers Oppose PT Anugerah Surya Pratama’s Nickel Mine

tolak pt aspIndigenous people in Kampung Yenbekaki, Waigeo Timur district, Raja Ampat, and the group “Solidarity with Yenbekaki” are firmly opposed to PT Anugerah Surya Pratama’s nickel mining operations in Sarembon, Kampung Yenbekaki.

In a press release sent to Majalah Selangkah, Solidarity with Yenbekaki explains the reasons for their opposition. They write in the press release how the people feel that PT ASP’s prescence is unlawful and violates the rights of indigenous people in Kampung Yenbekaki. PT ASP’s activities also pose a grave threat for the beaches of Warebar, a coastal conservation zone where critically endangered leatherback turtles lay their eggs.

The indigenous people of Kampung Yenbekaki are also asking the government to press PT ASP to leave the Yenbekaki area, because it doesn’t fit with Raja Ampat’s vision and objectives as a regency based on marine life.

PT Anugerah Surya Pratama (PT ASP) is a nickel mining company with operations based around Kampung Yenbekaki, Waigeo Timur. The company is currently busy with exploration activities.

Back in 2004, the company had met with the community in Yenbekaki. However, according to Solidarity with Yenbekaki, the company has never reached an agreement with the people of the village. The company has also not fulfilled its obligation to pay attention to local people’s rights – it just moved in and started drilling on three successive occasions.

PT ASP’s surveying first started in 2004, and that first phase ended in 2005. The second phase took place in 2007 and 2008, and the third phase from 2011 to 2013. At no point in this process of taking samples did the company discuss with the community how it would deal with the issue of environmental pollution, or talk about any Environmental Impact Assessment. It’s actions conflict sharply with the wishes of local people, and also the general wish in the area to be a regency known for its marine tourism.

“Guarantees that the company will give compensation to the community remain sweet promises which have never come to fruition,” is one of Solidarity with Yenbekaki’s claims.

The people of Yenbekaki feel that PT ASP’s presence is a threat to an ecosystem which is rich in wildlife, most notably the leatherback turtles on Warebar Beach near Kampung Yenbekaki. It will also make it harder for people find the resources they need for their livelihoods, and so work will become more of a burden for people.

On 1st June 2013, the people of Kampung Yenbekaki took action against the company, blockading their office in the village, to demand that the company immediately stops exploration and drilling activities around Sarembon and Yenbekaki.

“This blockade took place because we believe that PT ASP has absolutely no regard for the rights of indigenous people, doesn’t respect the environment and is endangering the future of communities around the mine by excavating the riches of the Yenbekaki community,” Solidarity with Yenbekaki writes.

Currently, PT ASP has yet to leave the area. As for its waste, of course it keeps on endangering the environment and the Papuan people of Yenbekaki.

by: Topilus B. Tebai

Source: Majalah Selangkah: http://majalahselangkah.com/content/rakyat-yenbekaki-tolak-pt-anugerah-surya-pratama-asp-

[note: For further information a 2011 investigation by the Sydney Morning Herald into PT Anugerah Surya Pratama’s activities is highly recommended. That article focussed on PT ASP’s two existing mines, on Manuren and Kawe islands, which at that time were exporting nickel ore to Australia to be processed by the Queensland Nickel company which is owned by Clive Palmer, one of Australia’s richest citizens. It was not known who owned PT ASP, which is an Indonesian company.The mine at Yenbekaki would be a new venture – the map below gives an indication of the location of Yenbekaki in relation to the two other mines. The article can be read at: http://www.smh.com.au/environment/conservation/chipping-away-at-paradise-20110701-1gv3s.html]


This entry was posted in Around West Papua and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments are closed, but you can leave a trackback: Trackback URL.